BY ALICE FEENEY
After years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire family is assembling for Nana’s 80th birthday party in Nana’s crumbling gothic house on a tiny tidal island. Finally back together one last time, when the tide comes in, they will be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours.
The family arrives, each of them harboring secrets. Then at the stroke of midnight, as a storm rages, Nana is found dead. And an hour later, the next family member follows…
Trapped on an island where someone is killing them one by one, the Darkers must reckon with their present mystery as well as their past secrets, before the tide comes in and all is revealed.
With a wicked wink to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, Daisy Darker’s unforgettable twists will leave readers reeling.
Daisy Darker was nothing like I thought it would be but it still had me twisted up and shocked at its ending. After Rock Paper Scissors, I knew to pay attention to the details and to expect the unexpected, I just didn’t know how unexpected it could get though. The “A Note from the Author’s Agent” was so bone chilling and I was hooked from the first page.
So before we get started I thought it would be fun to give you a bit of a breakdown of the family you’re about to witness be murdered. The Darker family consisted of:
– Daisy Darker: the daughter born with a broken heart, often forgotten and who is kept home and isolated due to said fragile heart
– Lily Darker: the favorite child aka a spoiled brat who never grew up nor was ever told no as a child
– Rose Darker: smarty pants extraordinaire and a cloistered veterinarian who cares more for animals than people
– Nancy Darker: Ex wife of Frank Darker who is a wannabe actress and Audrey Hepburn lookalike who dumped her children on their grandmother every chance she got
– Frank Darker: a traveling orchestra composer and musician who put his work above all else
– Nana Darker: successful children’s book illustrator and author with a nice chunk of change, peculiar quirks and owner of Seaglass home
– Trixie Darker: Lily’s daughter and Daisy’s favorite person besides Nana. A precocious child who proves the apple can in fact fall significantly from the tree
– Pippen Darker: the goodest of all boys and a completely innocent bystander
– (Special Guest) Conor: childhood friend (and first crush) to the Darker sisters and Nana’s neighbor
Daisy Darker comes from a family off a**holes and fu**ups. Seriously. Beyond her cute little Nana and her somehow sweet and down to earth niece, the rest of them sucked. This family went beyond disfunction into just plain awful people. Poor Daisy with her broken heart was the sweetest of the lot, yet always left behind and missing out on life due to her heart condition. She just faded into the background, always forgotten it seemed. Her family treated her so poorly, especially her sisters. I truly felt for her but definitely questioned if she could be behind the awful events at Seaglass.
While this is a decent sized book, I flew through it unable to find a dull moment. The pacing was perfect, dribbling just enough details and past memories with the present to keep you engaged and wanting more. The murders themselves and the mystery of them was so intriguing, I actually had no idea what was going on or who was behind them. At one point this book referred to itself as a “f**ked up version of Clue” and honestly I was thinking the same thing. Poison in the music room, gun in the foyer like what was next?
The Darker family, while thoroughly awful, were very entertaining. I found myself so intrigued by their pasts and motivations for why they could be the killer. The lengths these people went to cover their own secrets was insane. If you’re looking for a mystery with a dash of thriller and a lot of characterization this is definitely the book for you.